National Lab Day: Bringing Innovation in Math & Science to the Classroom

petercleveland.jpgBy Peter Cleveland,

vice president of legal and corporate affairs and director of Global Public Policy

Today marks the celebration of National Lab Day, a nationwide initiative which seeks to connect scientists, engineers and other professionals with teachers and K-12 students across the country to bring creative, hands-on discovery based learning to the classroom. Right now, teachers are connecting with professionals to collaborate and create innovative labs and lesson plans to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Part of the White House Educate to Innovate Initiative, National Lab Day brings together the expertise of the American Chemical Society, National Science Teacher’s Association and numerous government agencies with charitable foundations, volunteers, teachers and students across the country. Public-private partnerships like this one are critical to improving math and science education in the United States; they tap one of our greatest national resources – the vast pool of expertise offered by business, academia and government – to tackle national priorities like the improvement of STEM education for our youth.

Intel employees have a long history of working with teachers to inspire young innovators. Employees like Bill Repasky, Tom Bozic, Steve Dussinger, Alexa Woodmansee and Dave Conner, are showing students at Fort Collins High School in Fort Collins, CO real life applications for their talents in math and science. In addition, the Intel Foundation makes a donation to Fort Collins High School for every hour they spend leading their unique course in electrical engineering. Last year, schools received more than 2.7 million dollars for Intel employee volunteer hours.

As President Obama has stated, “the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.” At Intel, we know that improving STEM education is critical if we are to maintain U.S. global competitiveness and ensure that our nation’s students develop into the next generation of innovators. (Learn more about growing an innovation economy here.)

This week, approximately 1,500 of the world’s most talented, young scientists are showcasing cutting edge ideas and competing for over 4 million dollars in awards and scholarships in San Jose, CA at the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Competitions like this and ground-breaking initiatives like National Lab Day are crucial if we are to create a culture of curiosity in our classrooms and inspire students with the leading frontiers of math and science.

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